Omir the Storyteller

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Good Samaritan

Stories

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and put Jesus to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?"

And he answered and said, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; Do this and you will live."

But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

There was a man driving from Baltimore to Washington, and as he was driving along down the road one of his tires blew out. So he stopped the car, got out, opened the trunk, and was rummaging around for the jack when another car pulled up behind his and two men got out. He approached the two men, thinking they were there to help him change the tire, but instead they beat him, took his coat, wallet and watch, ransacked his car, and left him there for dead.

A few minutes later a TV preacher driving a Lexus approached the site of the mugging, but instead of stopping to help, he drove on by. "I'm already late," he might have been thinking. "I have to record that sermon on helping the poor."

Again, not long after that, a congressman in a BMW came down the road, and he too drove by. He was probably thinking about an omnibus crime bill that was coming up for a vote.

But then, after the congressman's car had pulled out of view, a pickup truck stopped behind the mugging victim and a man got out. He was a tall man, with a set of impressive muscles and a crew cut.

And a swastika tattoo atop one of those muscles.

And a picture of Adolf Hitler on his dashboard.

The man went over to the mugging victim, took his pulse, and then returned to the car to dial 911 for help. When the ambulance arrived he followed it to the hospital, gave the ambulance driver his card with an address to send the bill to, and then had the man admitted to the hospital.

"Whatever it costs to treat this man," he said, showing an ID, a business card and an American Express gold card, "I will pay it." And then he went on his way.

"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?"

And he said, "the one who showed mercy toward him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

2 Comments:

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

I love this story, Omir. "Samaritan" doesn't mean much to people 2000 years later, but at the time Jesus told the story, it must have caused as much of a shock to his listeners as the Neo-Nazi does to us.

aka "Janet Strange"

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger Omir the Storyteller said...

Hiya Jackie/Janet!

That was the idea I wanted to convey. Samaritans were the "evil twins" of the Jews of their day. Each accused the other of hijacking and perverting the true worship of I AM. They were mutually forbidden to have anything to do with one another. They would do things like light massive fires so the other side could not tell when the new moon arrived (very important to them in the determination of the beginning of holidays). They were just generally not nice to each other.

In my version I wanted to find a way to get across that the man's "neighbor" was someone he ordinarily would have nothing to do with, yet who stopped along the way to help him out without asking who he was or whether he had the capacity to repay him. In the "story behind the story" on Daily Kos (you can find it if you search the diary of "Our Man In Redmond" sometime around Easter) I explain that in the context of the story, you don't know whether the victim was white, black, Arab, Jewish or any other type of person you normally would think a neo-Nazi would never associate with. And that's the way it should be.

 

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